21 Tales of Tastemakers: Kyle Risley
by Kyle Risley (Business), published November 9th 2010
photos by Describe The Fauna, Tessa Komine
I’ve been in my fair share of student groups. I tried out NUBiLAGA, NUMA, and CUP before settling on Tastemakers as my primary extracurricular outlet. I also had an awesome graveyard shift at WRBB on Mondays, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who heard my broadcasts. I don’t have a distinct reason for my initial interest in the group besides my love for music and the quiet sense of intrigue I had for the chick with a crazy nest of hair (former Marketing Director, Kelsey Tucker), the bespectacled fella with the hefty beard (former President, Zivi Krieger) and the gentleman wearing at least two dozen necklaces (former Editor in Chief, Marc Pellegrino). Something about it all made me feel at home, so I kept showing up to meetings. What followed was a whirlwind of chalk dust, home recorded freestyles, and a bunch of new friends, but one thing I’ll never forget is the issue 17 release party, Tastemakers Prom.
January 2010 marked the first month that I was the lone president of Tastemakers, having fondly waved farewell to Zivi and Kelsey in December. Issue 17 was my first issue and e-board had been working on a good way to promote the release. We finally settled on a ‘prom’ theme, since the release was around Valentine’s Day and we figured it’d be fun to dress up. Being my first event, I was a bag of nerves making sure all of the food, decorations, DJs (Banana Peel Records, before they existed as such), issues, and promotion had been taken care of. An hour before doors, Diandra Apoyan (former Marketing Director) and Shellby Coyle (and maybe a few tastebuds?) built an awesome photo drop background that I absolutely loved and overall, I thought the decorations really came together. The food was in place and the sound was good to go. Now all we needed was the people.
DJ Fens opened up that night with a 30 minute set to a mostly empty room, as nervous glances were exchanged between me and other e-board members. This was beginning to look like our other, um, less successful events at afterHOURS. But about an hour in, the seemingly impossible happened: we had the biggest turnout of any release event to date. People I’d never met or seen at past events were decked out in fancy duds and dancing as the rest of the DJs, Elkid, Mzungu, and Doctor Jeep, went back and forth on the decks. The photo booth was a mob scene, the food was gone in about 30 minutes (whoops, my bad), and to top it off, Zivi and Kelsey stopped by and saw that Tastemakers v2.0 was going to be okay. To date, Prom remains our largest release event and something we’re always seeking to top. Keep your eyes peeled for the follow up this February!
Over my two years with Tastemakers, I’ve met loads of great people who have taught me more about the ideas of music, business, art, design, media and life than any course at Northeastern. To everyone who has worked alongside me or has read Tastemakers, I thank you.
Here’s to 21!
Editor’s Note: Kyle Risley is President of Tastemakers Magazine.